How I Organize My Writer’s Notebook

 

How I (2)

I have a weakness for notebooks.

Wire bound, foil trimmed, specialty, leather, bullet journals…love, love, love. I even fell for the snobbery of a moleskine notebook which remains empty to this day because I couldn’t think of anything ‘good enough’ to write in it. Meanwhile, my cheapo composition notebook from Walgreens is a gold mine.

My writer’s notebook is a warehouse of thoughts, ideas and observations. A place to capture tidbits and story morsels. Actually, I like to think of it as an idea catcher.

A repository and rubbish heap

It’s a home for lists, scenes, descriptions, dialogue and worlds. Sometimes the notebook feels like a junkyard, where I’m scavenging pages of rubbish to find that one diamond that stands out. There are tons of ways writers can use notebooks in their creative process.

Things I like to include

  1. Story ideas
  2. Story planning: outlines and scenes
  3. Character ideas
  4. Observations
  5. News and magazines articles
  6. Journal and gratitude entries
  7. Lists of names, words, descriptions (physical, clothing, weather, etc)
  8. Hand lettering and doodles
  9. Flash fiction
  10. Ideas for settings and worlds
  11. Author quotes for inspiration

Other things to include (although I don’t do this)

  1. Poetry
  2. Lyrics
  3. Playlists
  4. Memories
  5. Snippets of conversations
  6. Photos
  7. Jokes

Even though I also use Evernote and I have a ‘Writer’s Toolbox’ file on my computer filled with spreadsheets of lists and writerly gems, there’s something about using a ‘low tech’ notebook to capture these elements. Kind of like handwriting a novel I suppose, the satisfaction that comes from creating words on a page.

What about you?

What do you keep in your writer’s notebook? 

 

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